I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away”.
I am writing this as a sort of open letter to everyone that helped make the second White Mirror Ball such a success. We all had a fantastic day, and I think a lot of people seemed to enjoy the event.
Firstly of course thanks must go to the bands, who were all consummate professionals throughout. Without them the event would have been nothing, of course, but they all put in a fully stellar performance.
The Contortionist; Andy; the other side to my songwriting brain. Without you none of the event would have been possible, and your show was fantastic. There is so much heart bursting out of all of your songs, and I felt honoured to be able to join you for one of them. As I’m sure the audience will vouch for, I didn’t stop grinning throughout. Thank you.
Likes Lions, a group of the nicest bunch of guys I have ever met, with the riffery and sonic energy that lifts above and beyond their stellar personalities. They arrived really early and helped us do all of the decor, and were generally fine, fine gentlemen for the whole day. Thank you.
Death Rays of Ardilla. SO FUCKING PRIMAL. Still one of the most powerful live bands I have ever seen. Such an amazing sound created by just two people, which left myself and Andy discussing at length how you make your guitar sound like both bass and guitar. I could watch you guys smash away for days. I even went to see them do it all again at the Washington the next day. Thank you.
Pete David and the Payroll Union - I hope one day to be able to write songs as well as Pete David can. They feel weirdly archaic but also contemporary to me. There is of course, something of the Old West about them, but at times the words he sings cut right through to my own world. Pete and his band, sincerely and truly thank you.
The Hipshakes, I could never stop loving you. I mentioned to somebody before you played that I was really nervous because I have had you guys on a pedestal for so long, but you did not disappoint. Absolute fucking crazy madness from start to finish. I’m not sure I really understood any of what was going on, but you just reached right into my bowels and dragged me up there with you, caught in the whirlwind. One thousand ‘thank you’s.
And of course my band, The Players. You are my anchor. I truly and dearly love you all. Thank you.
But it wasn’t just the bands that made the event amazing. Kate from The Harley, thank you for keeping me calm and making everything turn out well. Your stoic calmness was a constant comfort. Kate, thank you.
Gibbs, the silent hero of the event, you are absolutely my favourite sound engineer to work with, and I had utter faith that you make everything run smoothly. You dealt with any and every technical request with magnificent professionalism and never complained. A truly great man. Thank you.
Of course, Julie Ann, who not only played for us Players and looked stunning in a wedding dress, but made the venue look fantastic. She put in the longest hours out of everyone on the day, and produced one of the greatest effects. Shame about the mirror ball!
The final thanks, is of course the most important one, and that is thank you to all of those who attended. There is absolutely no point in doing any of this if you do not come down and enjoy it. I hope you took something away from it and had as much fun as we did. Thank you thank you thank you, you are all so utterly amazing. Brilliant singing at the end of White Mirrors. I cannot possibly say how much I love each and every one of you. You are still my golden armour.
A collaborative project on the relationship between literature and music
I have just started working on a project with a friend of mine named Jess Ghost (who’s blog you can see at http://tapeyourmouth.tumblr.com/). It is based around a short story that she wrote. My intention is to adapt her prose into music, using some of the rhythmic structures and emotional waveforms that it inspires, and thus provide some form of “companion for reading”. I do not want to use the words at all in the music, but rather try and understand the abstract thought processes that it constitutes, and adapt those into my own thought processes. As such it is a work of translation and creation.
I thought it might be interesting throughout the process to document how I am doing it, to see if anyone had any suggestions or thoughts. Anyway, I started it off today by recording myself reading the story, then splitting it up into chunks of recording (between 10-45 seconds long), then using these “chunks of narrative” to form a section of the piece of music. There are 16 “chunks”.
I intend to create this as a continuing piece of music, with the “chunks” sort of forming the movements. I will update more as more is done.